Matt Boldy hasn't scored for the Wild in eight games since returning to the lineup after an upper body injury.

And with the team in a five-game losing streak, the scoring slumps of wingers Boldy and Kirill Kaprizov have been magnified.

Boldy scored 31 goals last season, but has only one in 10 games this season. Kaprizov, who has 87 goals and 183 points in the past two seasons, has been limited to five goals (four on power plays) in 17 games.

"Happens," Boldy said of his scoring slump. "Not really any words to put to it. Not playing great, and I'll be the first one to tell you that. It's no secret in my head. Trying to do stuff to help the team get that confidence back."

The 22-year-old winger is in the first season of a seven-year, $49 million contract. Kaprizov has a five-year, $45 million deal. They are the team's highest-paid forwards.

Wild coach Dean Evason was enthused about his team's play in Sweden, where they lost a shootout to Ottawa and in overtime to Toronto, and saw positive signs from Boldy.

"We just watched one [video] this morning where he gets a goal mouth pass against Toronto there and then kind of puts it into [the goalie], where maybe a lot of times he puts that back door," Evason said. "A lot of times when you're squeezing [the stick] a little bit you're going to have that happen.

"He's a young player in the National Hockey League still going through a process of being a great pro. And he'll get there."

The Wild, with only five victories in 17 games, face Colorado on Friday night at Xcel Energy Center as they start a string of nine games in 17 days.

"It's a bounce, it's getting to the right areas and doing the right things, it's gonna come eventually," Boldy said. "It's a hard league. Guys are doing everything they can to make it hard.

"It stinks. You want to do something to help the team."

A problem area

The Wild have the worst penalty-kill percentage in the NHL (.655). It's historically bad, in fact — the NHL record low is 68.2 % by the 1979-80 Kings.

Wild killers were more aggressive during their games in Sweden, and hope that's the ticket to improvement.

"We learned when to pressure and when not to pressure," said defenseman Jonas Brodin. "Before that we were a little not working together, but now I feel like we're tighter — when one pressures, everyone pressures.

"That was one thing I think we made a good adjustment on."

Yep, that's lower body

Defenseman Alex Goligoski returned to practice Wednesday at full-go, five weeks after being sidelined because a lower-body injury.

Goligoski said the injury was a fractured fibula suffered when a shot in practice hit him in "just the right spot."

He has not yet been activated from Long Term Injury Reserve, but the Wild are at full strength for the first time this season.

"Looking at the board, it's nice to not see anybody on the right side, on our injury side," Evason said.


The Wild's lines at practice were the same ones they used during their finale in Sweden — Marco Rossi centering Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, Freddy Gaudreau between Marcus Johansson and Boldy, Joel Eriksson Ek centering Marcus Foligno and Ryan Hartman, and Connor Dewar with wingers Brandon Duhaime and Pat Maroon.